1. Health
Paige Waehner

When was the last time you enjoyed your workouts?

By February 20, 2013

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I wrote about this topic some years ago and thought it was appropriate to revisit this topic for one important reason: All the exercisers I'm seeing are starting to look a little haggard after a long winter of indoor workouts.

The things is, if you're an exerciser, you probably work hard at your workouts. You always have a plan and, most of the time, you follow through with it. You get up before the sun or you head to the gym after work, even when you're tired. You finish that workout, even though you wanted to quit 20 minutes ago. You grit it out, even when your iPod battery died. You squeeze in a 4 a.m. workout when you're on the road and you always order the dressing on the side. You're good...so good that, sometimes, you may need to be just a little bit bad. If it's been awhile since you cut loose, here are some questions for you: When was the last time you...

  • Leisurely stretched after your workout instead of skipping it or rushing through it to get done?
  • Ditched your routine at the gym and played with a medicine ball or that weird blue dome in the corner (that's a BOSU, FYI), just for fun?
  • Did your workout without worrying about how hard you were working or how many calories you were burning?
  • Lounged in the hot tub or sauna after your workout?
  • Ditched your workout to just sit in the hot tub? (aka, the Gentleman's Workout)
  • Did exactly what you wanted to do (e.g., "A nice, relaxing stretch would feel really good.") instead of what you should do (e.g., "I better get my 6-mile run in today.")?
  • Were excited about your workout?
  • Went out for a walk to nowhere in particular?
  • Paid attention to how strong your body really is?
  • Rewarded yourself for all your hard work, day in and day out?

So? Is it time to do something fun? Something that reminds you why you love to move your body? Maybe today is the day.

Comments
February 16, 2010 at 7:18 am
(1) LowCarbFoodDiet says:

I think enjoing your workout is a must and I have to agree with the point that you have to do something you really like.I like jogging very much and so I go out with my dog and do my exercise about an hour.It is fun for me.On the other I hate swimmging and so I avoid this kind of exercise.

February 16, 2010 at 8:18 am
(2) Sandy says:

I really believe that people must enjoy their workouts and have variety. All of us need to make the big commitment to continue to exercise or enjoy sports. Time must be set aside. With that is the joy of exercising from Zumba dance to cycling to swimming to walking to resistance/strength training. I try to include flexibility and agility.

February 16, 2010 at 9:00 am
(3) Tracy VT says:

It is so true that you need to enjoy your workout. I have taken classes endlessly trying to like with no avial. For me, the best is a variety exercises from strength to cardio. Also a mix of indoor and outdoor activities is ideal. Even if it cold out, I find the cool fresh air inspiring.

February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am
(4) tiffany says:

Definitely couldn’t answer any of your questions! Exercise is a mandate, even to the extent of how long and how hard. Makes me hate it, but because it is SUCH a mandate, I won’t skip it. *sigh*

February 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(5) Scout09 says:

I injured myself the other day, so I am longing for my workout. I actually injured myself during a very satisfying workout, one that I was thoroughly enjoying and was a personal best. It is driving me crazy not to be able to do anything right now except recover. I really miss it.

February 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm
(6) Sarah says:

My husband remarked on the way home today that cycling season was about to start. My reaction? Dread? Where did that come from?

February 17, 2010 at 9:29 am
(7) maverse says:

Hi: I truly enjoy walking, as it is a natural exercise for us human beings. I too believe in using exercises you enjoy and not force yourself to do just because they might be good for you. Mind and soul should be together with the body in doing exercises, right?

February 17, 2010 at 10:35 am
(8) Bob says:

I tend to look forward to my workouts, and do feel as if I’ve missed something if I go a few days without anything, because I’m travelling or because my schedule is busy. Having said that, some of my more enjoyable and very worthwhile “workout experiences” have been when I have been compelled to change, or do something different, or exert myself on a long hike or kayak trip or something like that. The change is exhilarating – but just not possible to do regularly. So while the workouts do seem like work, I also love the feeling afterward, or several hours afterward or the next day. Incidentally, I reward myself frequently! With a nice dinner or something like that.

February 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm
(9) Fitness fan says:

We’re in the midst of the winter Olympics in Vancouver. I get a tremendous kick seeing the spirit, courage, conviction and determination of these gifted athletes. They hurtle through space seemingly disdainful of the laws of gravity and physics.

Just last night, several Americans medaled. Lindsey Vonn took gold in the women’s downhill, Shani Davis the gold in the 1,000-meter speed race, and Shaun White the gold in the half-pipe. There were silver and bronze medalists as well. Apolo Ohno advanced to the finals of the 1,500-meter short track.

I get caught up in the excitement and joy of these events. It helps me keep my daily workouts and working through aches and pain in perspective. I usually enjoy my workouts, the sweat blood and tears of lifting weights and cardio on the elliptical machine providing a lift in my spirit and attitude. I find making minor alterations in my routine help keep things alive and interesting. Watching the Olympics also has a positive effect on my personal workouts and outlook.

February 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm
(10) Efit Solutions says:

Great advice. The one big key to a long lasting relationship with fitness is to enjoy what you’re doing. If you hate the exercises then you will cheat and skip days at the gym.

February 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm
(11) Fitness fan says:

My previous comment in 2010 was made in the context of the winter Olympics in Canada. I still get pumped watching athletes perform at their high levels.

Anyway, for me there is a thin line between being enthusiastic or fanatical in my exercise. I try to keep a sense of balance; if Iím having an off day, Iíll throttle back on my workout, do something else, or just relax.

Iíve shaped my exercise routines for challenge, variety, and fun. Lifeís too short to fret about not doing enough exercise or not exercising hard enough. Exercise should be a means to an end and not an end in itself.

All the pointers above are great to relieve the pressure.

February 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm
(12) ivanrpolk says:

Today’s workout was the best of the week.

February 22, 2013 at 11:24 am
(13) lahope says:

I take classes every day: yoga and indoor cycling. In addition I work with my trainer and a workout partner who is a close friend two days a week at a small, well-equipped private gym. Therefore when I’m exercising i am also socializing with and enjoying the company of friends.

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